Afghan refugee resettlement by state | best state
United States forces withdrew from Afghanistan last month, ending the longest war in the country’s history after nearly 20 years of occupation. In their wake, thousands of Afghan civilians arrived at the airport in Kabul in the hope that they would be taken to the US as the Taliban and other terrorist groups moved into the city.
The Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal received criticism on both sides, especially when it came to the thousands of Afghan civilians who assisted US forces or were being targeted by the Taliban only to be left behind.
The exact number of refugees arriving from Afghanistan is unclear, but according to Reporting from the New York TimesAt least 50,000 Afghans will be admitted to the US within the next month, and about 31,000 have already arrived and are being processed. If that plan holds true, the number of refugees admitted in the coming months will be comparable to the total resettlement of all Afghan refugees in the US since the US bombed the country for the first time in 2001.
Over the past two decades, more than 97,000 Afghans have been resettled in the US, according to State Department data analyzed by US News. They have arrived mainly through two channels: obtaining refugee status or obtaining a special immigrant visa.
Department of Homeland Security define refugee As if someone fears persecution in their country due to various factors such as religion or political opinion, but allows some ambiguity. Special immigrant visas are granted to translators, guides and other Afghan nationals, as well as their families, who have served with the US military or non-governmental organizations.
According to a US news analysis, Virginia has the largest share of Afghans in relation to its population, with 136 resettlements per 100,000 residents. It has been the starting point for the arrival of thousands of refugees and SIV recipients in recent weeks. Other states with the highest rates of resettlement include California, Maryland, Washington and Idaho.
With more than 31,000 war-time arrivals, or nearly a third of all Afghan resettlements, and more than twice that of the next highest state, Texas, California has taken in the most Afghans overall. In that time period, Washington, DC resettled more Afghans than the 17 states.
Thirty-seven governors have already approved the resettlement of Afghan refugees to their states. Two Republican governors – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon – Said they would not, and 11 remained undecided, according to an analysis From Huffington Post.
Wyoming is one of three states that have never accepted Afghan refugees since at least 2001. South Dakota accepted 90 in the same time period. Of the governors who remained silent, most of their states either never took in Afghan refugees or took in less than 100.
According to data from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, SIV recipients from Afghanistan first began arriving in the 2008 fiscal year, but the program did not begin accepting large numbers of recipients until 2014. Although the number of SIV arrivals has far exceeded the number of refugees over the past 20 years, the program has been criticized over the years due to its long wait times and difficult application process.
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